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the woman in the library

It must be the hair. It had gone from fine and black to fussy and well just grey. That was an exaggeration. The grey was at the roots and not as visible as before the transformation. The treatment had actually the made the old greys a coppery-ginger colour if there was such a thing. Or maybe it was the just unkempt appearance, she has brushed it before she had left the house but after the wind and her fingers at got to it she was reminded of the phrase dragged through the hedge backwards. More likely it was the fact that she was staring, intensely at the woman with white roots and red hair, in a rather unnerving fashion. And it must have been odd because the woman suddenly looked over her glasses and said in theatrically loud whisper “Are you OK?”.

You, smile back with what you hope is a friendly expression and answer “Yes!”. You then busy yourself with typing furiously and willing your phone to ring, so that ‘people’ know that you are not a loner and a weirdo and that you have friends and even managed to secure down a husband. You are in fact waiting for a friend to call you back, who you called while on the M25 (hands free of course) who was at that time too busy to talk to you. You know it is likely she will not call back today. You told her two days ago, that when you call people back and they do not answer, you make a silent fistbump in the air. Thus indicating that you really do not like talking on the phone and you do it out of obligation. This is not a flattering concept. You have spoken into the universe and the universe has responded. You also remember that you have, in another time zone, not called back when you have promised that you would do. You wonder and suspect that your friend will remember this and act accordingly.

You take this moment to reflect on the ruins that is that current friendship. It appears that it slowly deteriorated, more or less, as soon as you got married. You cannot now remember whether this was coincidence or not. You remember, certainly that it became clear within a month that the marriage was perhaps the worst mistake of your life and you spiralised into something like depression. In this pool of depression, you pushed away all your friends and family because it was perhaps, far to painful and shameful to share. You had this feeling that people would say I told you so. When they did find out what was wrong, because that is want caring friends and family do, they told you get out. They told you to leave as fast as you could. And you did not. You do not know why, most likely fear of the unknown. You stayed. You stayed and you were sad for a very long time. A very long time.

One day you spoke to a friend who told you that you needed to get counselling to think about what you wanted in life. So you took her advice. To be fair all your other family and friends had been telling you to do this for years and you did have some counsellor at the beginning but you stopped becasue you started marriage counselling with him. However that did not last long. So you floundered and floundered. The second time around  you found a counsellor and you have stuck with this for a year now. It has been a long an painful process but you have managed to work through many of your issues. There have been set backs. There have been moments when have had to face and accept certain undeniable facts. But you have faced them and accepted them. It has been painful and you have cried without shedding a tear.

You are now at a place. A new place that you have not been to before. It is a place of trying not to repeat the mistakes of the past. It is a place where you want to explore who you can truely be if you try. You are not interested in negative versions of yourself. You are not going to listen to the negative voices unless they spur into action a postive set of behaviours. You have no time feeling sorry for yourself. You want to be real now.

And back in the real world  the woman is still at her computor. And now of course it makes it very awkward to turn your head to the left, which has suddenly become the most interesting view of the whole library. Oh, yes, did you forget to mention that you were in the library. You left the comfort of your home because you could not stand to watch the painful event that was Andrew Marr interviewing Jeremy Hunt. You were not even really listening but the body language that you were vaguely aware of, while munching a tasteless vegan pizza, was that of  a scared school boy meeting the headmaster. He really did not look Prime Ministertorial at all. However, you then wonder, as you put on your shoes and pick up your house key, what does a Prime Minister in 2019 look like anyway?

It turns out – that it might be blond, blue-eyed and age 55. That’s just twelve years older than you are right now.  You let that rest in your mind for a while. The competion is only ten years older than you and you quitely wonder what you have been doing with your life. It appears however that sitting in public libraries staring absent mindedly at old women is not the recipe for success. Also it seems that staring at the librarian, dressed in black from top to toe, and wondering if she is pregnant or just carrying excess weight around, is also not going to project you into the echalons of power.

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